The 4th Annual Kelowna Capital News Community Leader Awards was held at Okanagan College, Oct. 23, 2017. Leaders are nominated from the community and a board of community members selects the winners.
Patrick Barton has become an essential member of the Kelowna Fire Department in the last 20 years, stepping up to every challenge and chipping in wherever his help has been needed.
His career with the department began in 1997 as a Paid On Call member, but he was hired full-time in 2004. That’s when Patrick started volunteering hundreds of hours annually on behalf of the Kelowna Professional Fire Fighters Charitable Society and the B.C. Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund, said nominator Larry Hollier, deputy chief.
“Patrick is truly a role model at work and during his countless hours of volunteering his personal time to so many causes,” said Hollier.
He’s been behind the scenes pulling off Ladies Nite Out, Falcons Baseball Charitable Event, Boot Drives, Christmas Tree Chip Program, KFD Open House, B.C. Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund Camps and B.C. Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund’s THRIVE.
THRIVE is a winter retreat for burn survivors between the ages of 18 to 25 years old. The first retreat was held at Big White in 2016 and there they addressed life and burn injury coping skills.
Workshops and exercises engaged the participants in team building; life skills lessons and networking.
The goal is to give each burn survivor new knowledge and tools that will help them navigate the demands of young adulthood; introduce them to opportunities to stay involved with the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund and provide an opportunity to continue friendships created at Burn Camp as well as developing new friendships with survivors who have not attended burn camp.
“These kids come from varied backgrounds,” said Barton. “When we go to the retreat it’s really nice to watch them have another kind of experience.”